TOP FIVE: Most Haunted Pubs in the UK

the Red Lion pub
The Red Lion Pub. Credit: David Mark on Pixabay

As Halloween approaches, we count down our five top picks for the most haunted pubs in the country. Fancy a beer? Or maybe you prefer spirits…

1. Ye Olde Salutation Inn, Nottingham

As if taken straight from the plot of a horror film, Ye Olde Salutation Inn is actually built over a system of man-made caves dating back to the 9th century. A five-year-old girl, Rosie, who died in the caves centuries back is said to be haunting the pub to this day. Other ghosts include a pirate who drowned in a well in the caves, and three former landlords who all died inside the pub. For the history buffs – local legend proclaims that Oliver Cromwell signed the death warrant of King Charles I in this very haunted pub.

Old pub
Another medieval pub, a rival of the Salutation Inn for the oldest pub in Nottingham. Credit: Bookitlist on Unsplash

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2. The Jamaica Inn, Cornwall

Situated on the bleak and romantic Bodmin Moor, this former coaching inn has a historical association with smugglers. It was made famous by Daphne du Maurier’s 1936 novel of the same name, but nowadays the inn is known for its monthly ghost hunts where spirits from the past have often been spotted. The most common occurrence is the sound of wheels and hooves going over the cobbles, and also the spirit of a man who was murdered before he finished his drink. Legend has it he returned to finish the drink.

Bodmin Moor
The eerie and beautiful Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. Credit: Richard Norris, Pixabay

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3. The Ostrich Inn, Slough

This haunted pub, whose foundations were laid in 1106, has seen its fair share of gruesome murders. In the 17thcentury, the pub’s then landlord and his wife would tip the hinged bed of a rich guest while they slept and, through the use of a trapdoor, the unaware guest would fall straight into a vat of boiling liquid! The pub was also visited by many historical figures, such as Dick Turpin who used it as a hideout, and King John who allegedly stopped there on his way to sign the Magna Carta.

Medieval England
England’s medieval structures are the perfect spot for ghosts… Credit: Ruth Gledhill on Unsplash

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4. The Drovers Inn, Loch Lomond

This historic Scottish Inn has had its fair share of ghostly sightings, but the most popular is the story of Room 6. In the early 20th century, a young girl drowned in the nearby icy river, and her body was brought by her family to room 6 to rest while they prepared for her funeral. Guests who have stayed in the room since have often experience a small, icy body crawling into bed beside them, and a chill in the air which doesn’t seem to go away. Stay in Room 6 if you dare!

Ghosts are said to wander the forests near the Inn. Credit: mskathrynne on Pixabay

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5. The Red Lion, Wiltshire

The Red Lion pub, dating back to the 1600s, is a hotbed for paranormal activity. The most popular story is that of Florrie, a woman whose husband returned from the English Civil War to find her in the arms of another man. He promptly shot the man, slit Florrie’s throat, threw her down the well, then sealed it up with a boulder. The well still exists, glassed over and used as a drinks table. Florrie’s ghost has remained throughout the centuries, searching, it is said, for a man with a beard. Bearded men who visit the haunted pub to this day seem to particularly attract Florrie’s attention, which she displays by appearing from the old well and spinning chandeliers around.

the Red Lion pub
The Red Lion Pub. Credit: David Mark on Pixabay

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Find more Halloween articles here:

How to celebrate a very British Halloween

Remember your ‘roots’ this Halloween

Most haunted places in Britain: 10 spooky spots